The story of Koung’s Wan Tan Mee begins in the 1950s when Papa was 14 years old. Papa started off helping his elder brother after school, pushing the trishaw as they sold noodles.
Two years later, Papa went to work at a shop at Geylang Lorong 12. Each day, he would kok-kok his way down different lanes, making sales and taking orders before returning to the shop where the Boss would prepare the orders for him to deliver to customers, freshly made and piping hot.
In 1964, racial riots forced the closure of the shop, and it was then that Papa made the bold decision to take over the business. Still a teenager and having taken on a huge $200 loan, Papa began a life-long career that would see him build up Koung’s Wan Tan Mee.
Papa started from scratch, learning how to cook the noodles to just the right texture, figuring out what to put into the wan tans and most importantly, understanding how to roast the char siew over charcoal. Papa hired someone to cook the noodles while he continued to kok-kok for sales, only this time using his bicycle. In those days, a bowl of plain noodles cost 20 cents while one with wan tans and char siew cost 30 cents. The work was hard, but Papa found it rewarding to be his own boss.
As business improved, increasing rent and the need for a bigger premise forced them out of Geylang Lorong 12 stall and they moved across the road to Geylang Lor 13 where they operated for another 2 decades.
Increasing rent and redevelopment once again forced us to move to our 3rd and current location.
We expanded and took a 2nd stall within the same coffeeshop to include delivery services through Foodpanda, Deliveroo and Grab on weekends to cater to the younger and tech savvy customers who wanted convenience of having their meals delivered to their homes.
This stall operates on Mondays as well so we can serve our customers 7 days a week.
2020 proved to be an exciting year for us despite Covid. It had presented us with a unique opportunity. We went into R&D and developed our very own Ready-to-eat (RTE) meals in cooperation with our business partner, Gozen Kitchen.
The year was bumpy but the meals came in time to serve many who were cooped up at home due to circuit breaker. It brought our meals into our customers’ homes.
We have 2 versions now, our usual pork char siew and a new Halal certified chicken char siew wan tan mee.
The halal chicken meals are now available at Cheers outlets islandwide, NTUC Fairprice Express as well as Old Nanyang Coffee outlets. We will be progressively adding in more outlets and business partners. Watch here for new additions!
2020 also saw Koung opening the first mall store, headed by my brother, at Jem shopping mall.
For the first time in decades, people in the West gets to enjoy our noodles without having to travel too far.
This is an exciting month for us as we cross another milestone. The birth of Koung’s Express! We want to ensure the same quality of food reaches our customers no matter where we go. Miles of testing and R&D had been done to ensure there is no loss of quality or taste as we start our new journey. We look forward to serving you more closely in the days to come.
So here you are, our story so far.
Please continue to support us and the local food scene. It is extremely hard and tiring work, but at the end of the day, your smiles and satisfied tummies made it all worthwhile!